Curtis Joseph

Curtis Shayne Joseph (né Munro; April 29, 1967) is a Canadian ice hockey coach and former professional player. Nicknamed "Cujo", Joseph was immediately recognizable on the ice for his masks featuring a snarling dog, drawing inspiration from the Stephen King novel Cujo.

Curtis Joseph
Joseph with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2001
Born (1967-04-29) April 29, 1967
Keswick, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for St. Louis Blues
Edmonton Oilers
Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
Phoenix Coyotes
Calgary Flames
National team  Canada
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 19892009

Throughout his NHL career, Joseph played for a number of franchises, rising to prominence during the playoffs with the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. He also played for the Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames. He last played for the Maple Leafs during the 2008–09 NHL season.[1] He was also a member of Canada's gold medal winning team at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Joseph retired with the most career wins (454) of any goaltender in NHL history who never played on a Stanley Cup-winning team (which has since been surpassed by Roberto Luongo), and was also the first goaltender to have 30 or more wins in a regular season for five different teams.[2]

Early life

Joseph was born on April 29, 1967[3] to unmarried teenage parents.[2] Soon after his birth, his mother, Wendy Munro, gave him up to be fostered by Jeanne and Howard Eakins. She knew Jeanne from the nursing home where they both worked and thought that the Eakinses could provide a better life for him. He was named Curtis after his birth father, Curtis Nickle. Jeanne later divorced Howard and married Harold Joseph, at which point she cut off contact with Wendy Munro and began using Joseph as Curtis's last name.[4] In the Joseph household, Curtis grew up with two older stepbrothers, Grant and Victor. He also has three older stepsisters and a stepbrother from a previous marriage. The family is of mixed race with Harold and Victor being black.[5] It was not until he signed with the St. Louis Blues that Joseph legally changed his name from Curtis Shayne Munro to Curtis Shayne Joseph.[5]

For the majority of his childhood, Curtis was raised in the East Gwillimbury community of Sharon. He initially attended Whitchurch Highlands Public School and then Huron Heights Secondary School. Curtis grew up playing hockey for the East Gwillimbury Eagles of the OMHA until moving west to play for Notre Dame College in (Wilcox, Saskatchewan).[6][7] Although he led the Notre Dame Hounds to the Centennial Cup in 1987–88, and he played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison of the NCAA, he was undrafted by the NHL.[8] He signed as a free agent with the Blues in 1989. In the 1989–90 season, he played 23 games with the Peoria Rivermen in the IHL.

Playing career

Nicknamed "Cujo," Joseph has worn the number 31 for the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes, and the Calgary Flames.[9] Joseph is a three-time NHL All-Star (1994, 1999, 2000), and he was awarded the 1999–2000 King Clancy Memorial Trophy for exemplifying leadership qualities on and off the ice and making noteworthy humanitarian contributions to his community. In the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, he was a member of the Olympic Gold Medal winning Canadian men's hockey team.

University of Wisconsin

Joseph began his college play at the University of Wisconsin. While playing for the Badgers, Joseph won 21 games and was voted to the WCHA All Conference Team.[10] Shortly after his freshman season, Joseph, despite not having been drafted, was signed by the St. Louis Blues to a free-agent entry-level contract.

St. Louis Blues

Randy Karraker presents Joseph a plaque commemorating his induction into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, 2015. Joseph first played for the St. Louis Blues in 1989.

Joseph broke into the NHL in 1989, playing for the St. Louis Blues. In the off-season following the 1990–91 NHL season, the Blues signed Brendan Shanahan from the New Jersey Devils. Shanahan was a restricted free agent, and thus the Devils were entitled to compensation. The teams could not agree on what the compensation was; the Blues offered Curtis Joseph, Rod Brind'Amour, and two draft picks, while the Devils wanted Scott Stevens. Joseph seemed to be the answer the Devils were looking for in goal, but the case went to arbitration, and a judge ruled that Stevens was to be awarded to the Devils in September 1991.

Joseph remained with the Blues until 1995. The 1992–93 NHL season was his most successful season, as he played a key role in the upset of the Chicago Blackhawks, the reigning Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions; the Blues swept them in four games in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues then faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round, and though the Leafs prevailed, the series went to seven games thanks to Joseph's play. Because of his efforts, he was nominated as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy that season, finishing third in voting behind winner Ed Belfour and Tom Barrasso. After a disappointing first-round exit in the 1995 playoffs, St. Louis Blues coach and general manager Mike Keenan declined to re-sign Joseph and traded his rights to the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers began their training camp with two starting goaltenders, signed incumbent Bill Ranford and the unsigned Joseph. Edmonton failed to work out a contract or trade Joseph's rights, leaving Joseph without a team to start the 1995-96 season. He signed a contract with the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder and dominated, reminding the NHL that he deserved to be there. The Oilers entertained trading Joseph to the Boston Bruins but would finally sign Joseph to a contract and trade Ranford to Boston. With Edmonton, Joseph won two Zane Feldman Trophies (team MVP) and one Most Popular Player award. He backstopped the Oilers to first round playoff upsets of the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche in 1997 and 1998, respectively, their first playoff series wins since 1992.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Following the 1997–98 season, Joseph signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs. While with the Leafs, he had three consecutive seasons of 30+ wins, he was twice runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 1999 and 2000, a finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1999, and won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2000. Joseph played a key role in the Leafs' run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1999 and 2002. In 2000, during Game One of the series against the New Jersey Devils, he was considered the deciding factor in the 2–1 win where the Leafs were outshot 33-21.[11]

After Leafs General Manager Pat Quinn was unwilling to give Joseph a four-year contract (he offered three years), he left after the 2001–02 season to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. Some also speculated that the relationship between Quinn and Joseph was frosty because Quinn had benched Joseph in the Salt Lake City Olympics after the first game, although Joseph himself denied the rumours, saying that he played a bad first game against Sweden (losing 5–2) and that Martin Brodeur played very well for the rest of the tournament, earning his spot as the starter. Joseph's move to Detroit was highly publicized and unpopular in Toronto.

Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2002 and entered the 2002-03 season mostly unchanged. Detroit brought in coach Dave Lewis to replace the retiring Scotty Bowman, and Joseph with a 3-year, $24 million dollar contract to replace the newly-retired Dominik Hašek. Joseph initially faltered, but eventually found his form in the latter half of the 2002–03 season to backstop his team to the division title. With an anemic offense, Detroit was upset in the first round of the playoffs in 2003 by the eventual conference champions, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in a four-game sweep. Detroit fans and media focused their frustration on Joseph after he was outplayed by the eventual 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jean-Sébastien Giguère.

During the 2003 off-season, Dominik Hašek announced his intentions to come out of retirement. With fears of Hašek signing with a competitor, Detroit general manager Ken Holland signed him to a contract with the intention of trading Joseph, but Joseph's large contract and off-season surgery made him was unmovable. Detroit was forced to enter the 2003-04 season with two starting goaltenders earning $8 million USD per year. After a stint in the minors, Joseph returned to the Red Wings lineup while Hašek was nursing a groin injury. The Red Wings plan was to attract him to other teams until Hašek returned to the lineup. In February, Hašek decided to call it quits for the season, which once again solidified Joseph's position on the Red Wings roster.

Detroit finished first overall in the league, and entered the first round of the playoffs with Manny Legace as their starting goalie. After great play in the first two games, Legace struggled in games 3 and 4. Joseph took the reins in game 5 and delivered, winning two straight and helping Detroit defeat the Nashville Predators in six games. The Red Wings were defeated in the second round of the playoffs in six games by the eventual Western Conference champions, the Calgary Flames. Joseph was statistically the top goaltender in the 2004 playoffs.

Phoenix Coyotes

In the summer of 2005, several teams were interested in signing Joseph, including the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phoenix Coyotes. After taking a call from the new Phoenix coach, Wayne Gretzky, Joseph signed a one-year deal with Phoenix. On October 28, 2005, he won his 400th NHL game. On March 28, 2006, he posted his 424th career win, thereby moving into sixth place on the NHL's all-time list, passing Tony Esposito. In the summer of 2006, Joseph returned to Phoenix for another season on a one-year contract. While he was with the Coyotes, Curtis became the first goaltender to have 30 or more regular season wins for five different teams (St. Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit, and Phoenix); Joseph eventually recorded at least 50 regular season wins with each of those teams.[12]

Calgary Flames

Joseph had shown interest in re-joining the Toronto Maple Leafs, indicating that he would be fine with a back-up role and a reduced salary. In September 2007 the Ottawa Senators quietly expressed interest in acquiring Joseph if they could unload Martin Gerber and his large contract.

On January 14, 2008, Joseph signed a one-year, US$1.5 million contract with the Calgary Flames.[13] On March 1, 2008, Joseph moved past Terry Sawchuk for fourth place in all-time NHL wins with 448 in a 3–1 win over his former team, the Phoenix Coyotes. On April 13, 2008, Joseph replaced Miikka Kiprusoff less than four minutes into the first period of Game #3 of the Flames' first round series of the 2008 playoffs with the San Jose Sharks. Joseph backstopped the Flames to a come-from-behind 4–3 win after initially falling behind 3–0. This win made him the first goaltender to win a post-season game as a member of five different teams: St.Louis, Edmonton, Toronto, Detroit and Calgary.

Return to Toronto

On July 1, 2008, Joseph rejoined the Toronto Maple Leafs by signing a 1-year, $700,000 contract. Joseph served primarily as a back-up for most of the season, only playing 21 games. On December 30, 2008, he recorded his 450th career win in a 4–3 overtime victory against the Atlanta Thrashers, and on April 8, 2009, he recorded his 352nd NHL loss, tying Gump Worsley for the NHL record for most losses by a goaltender. Martin Brodeur subsequently set a new record and subsequently finished with 397 losses,[14] Joseph's 352 losses were also later surpassed by Roberto Luongo who subsequently finished with 392 losses.

Joseph announced his retirement on January 12, 2010 in Toronto.[15] His career would end with 454 regular season wins, 5th most all time. His 63 playoff victories are the most by a goaltender without winning a Stanley Cup.

During the 2016-17 season, Joseph was a goaltending consultant in the organization of the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL.[16]

International play

Joseph was a member of the Canada men's national ice hockey team, having played for the team in several international tournaments, including the 1996 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the 2007 Spengler Cup. Joseph helped lead the team to the Spengler Cup championship on December 31, 2007.[17]

Personal life

Joseph has been married twice and has seven children, including a nephew he is raising with his second wife. Joseph was previously married to Nancy. The couple had four children together before divorcing in 2009. Joseph married former Playboy playmate Stephanie Glasson in 2012. The couple have two children together.[18]

His autobiography, Cujo: The Untold Story of My Life On and Off the Ice, was released in 2018.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
1984–85 King City Dukes MetJHL 18947764.82
1984–85 Newmarket Flyers OJHL 2110120168.00
1985–86 Richmond Hill Dynes OJHL 3312180171615615.45
1986–87 Richmond Hill Dynes OJHL 301476176412814.35
1987–88 Notre Dame Hounds SJHL 36254721749412.59.916
1987–88 Notre Dame Hounds CC 541321173.17
1988–89 University of Wisconsin WCHA 382111522679412.49.919
1989–90 Peoria Rivermen IHL 23108212418003.87
1989–90 St. Louis Blues NHL 159518524803.38.890 6413271803.30.892
1990–91 St. Louis Blues NHL 301610217108903.12.898
1991–92 St. Louis Blues NHL60272010349417523.01.910 6243792303.64.894
1992–93 St. Louis Blues NHL 6829289389019613.02.911 11747152722.27.938
1993–94 St. Louis Blues NHL 71362311412721313.10.911 4042461503.66.905
1994–95 St. Louis Blues NHL 362010119148912.79.902 7333922403.67.865
1995–96 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 1512218732911.99.929
1995–96 Edmonton Oilers NHL 3415162193511103.44.886
1996–97 Edmonton Oilers NHL 7232299408920062.93.907 12577673622.82.911
1997–98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 7129319413218182.63.905 12577152331.93.928
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 6735247400117132.56.910 179810114112.43.907
1999–00 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 6336207380115842.49.915 12667292512.06.932
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 6833278410016362.39.915 11746852432.10.927
2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 5129175306511442.23.906 20101012534832.30.934
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 6134196356614852.49.912 4042891002.08.917
2003–04 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 110060101.00.952
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 311610317086822.39.909 9445181211.39.939
2005–06 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 6032213342416642.91.902
2006–07 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 5518312299315943.19.893
2007–08 Calgary Flames NHL 93203991702.55.906 21079100.76.970
2008–09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 215913835003.57.869
NHL totals 943454352906540552516512.79.906 13263668106327162.45.917


Joseph warming up prior to a game at the 2002 Winter Olympics
Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Representing Canada
Olympic Games
2002 Salt Lake City
World Championships
1996 Austria
World Cup of Hockey
1996 Canada
Spengler Cup
2007 Spengler Cup
1996 Canada WC 84091221.94.916
1996 Canada WCH 75204681812.31.908
2002 Canada OLY 101060505.00.800
Senior totals 169373532.24

Awards and honours

Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 1988–89 [19]
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 1988–89 [20]
  • Selected to three NHL All-Star Games: 1994, 1999 and 2000
  • Winner of the 2000 King Clancy Memorial Trophy
  • Inducted into St.Louis Sports Hall of Fame, 2015

See also

  • List of NHL goaltenders with 300 wins
  • List of National Hockey League statistical leaders


  1. "Sportsnet signings". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  2. Larry Wigge (April 3, 2006). "Once again, 'Cujo' is in command". NHL. Archived from the original on April 5, 2006. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  3. "Curtis Joseph Hockey Stats and Profile". Retrieved November 15, 2007.
  4. Joseph, Curtis; McLellan Day, Kirstie (2018). Cujo: The Untold Story of My Life on and off the Ice. Triumph Books. p. 156. ISBN 978-1629376783.
  5. Wigge, Larry (January 31, 2000). "The Man Called Cujo". The Sporting News. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  6. "Curtis Joseph Stats". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  7. "Curtis Joseph". NHL players. TSN. Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  8. "Curtis Joseph—Biography". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  9. "Curtis Joseph". Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  10. Curtis Joseph, Legends of Hockey, retrieved December 1, 2010
  11. "CBC Sports - Story".
  12. "Curtis Joseph belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame | Offside". Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  13. "Flames agree to one-year deal with CuJo". January 14, 2008. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  14. "NHL Goalies ‑ All-Time Losses Leaders".
  15. "Report: Maple Leafs will not bring Joseph back". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  16. Williams, Terrell (July 1, 2016). "Canes Add Joseph as Goaltending Consultant". Carolina Hurricanes. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  17. "Canada wins 2007 Spengler Cup". TSN. December 31, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  18. Neil Davidson (October 24, 2018). Neglected as a child, Curtis Joseph was driven to succeed in NHL nets, Canadian Press.
  19. "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  20. "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). Retrieved June 11, 2013.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rick Berens
WCHA Freshman of the Year
Succeeded by
Scott Beattie
Preceded by
Robb Stauber
WCHA Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Gary Shuchuk
Preceded by
Rob Ray
Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Shjon Podein

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